There’s a diary on the rec list: No, the GOP wont abandon Trump for one reason: he’s the last. I think they will, when they think the time is right.
First, the Republican leadership has never liked Trump. During the nominating season, they tried to stop him, until it became clear he had built a base that they couldn’t overcome. But they never warmed to him, and when the p***y tape came out, Ryan was not the only one of the leadership that thought this would cost him the election.
Then Trump won, and forced them to kneel to him. The GOP did, but they never liked it. Since then, Trump has bullied and insulted and threatened them, and they’ve had to go along because he held the threat that his base would vote them out in a primary if he told them to. (See: Jeff Flake, Bob Corker.)
The thing about ruling by fear is that it only works as long as the ruler is feared. Also, fear breeds anger, which builds up and up because the fear gives it no way to express itself safely. Once the fear is gone (or even just diminished), the anger is now free and ready to boil over.
Trump is now heading toward that place where fear no longer works so well for him. This time, the charges against him are easy to understand and have already, in a few short days, moved a majority of the country to call for an impeachment inquiry. It does a Republican little good to win a primary if he or she loses the general.
Fox News, Trump’s personal fearmonger, is also having some nervous thoughts about sticking with the Great Orange Shitgibbon:
Inside Fox News, tensions over Trump are becoming harder to contain as a long-running cold war between the network’s news and opinion sides turns hot. Fox has often taken a nothing-to-see-here approach to Trump scandals, but impeachment is a different animal. “It’s management bedlam,” a Fox staffer told me. “This massive thing happened, and no one knows how to cover it.” The schism was evident this week as a feud erupted between afternoon anchor Shepard Smith and prime-time host Tucker Carlson. It started Tuesday when Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told Smith on-air that Trump committed a “crime” by pressuring Ukraine’s president to get dirt on Biden. Vanity Fair 26 Sep 2019
And Paul Ryan is on the board of Fox News; I have no doubt he wants revenge against Trump for driving him to resign, and also he thinks Trump is ruining the GOP (he’s right, for once).
If Fox eases up on Trump support, there goes one of the major fear tools Trump has used to keep the GOP in line.
The GOP seriously dislikes Trump. Not just because he’s a bully, not just because he takes obscene pleasure in putting them down, not just because he’s crude, rude, and has no idea how government works, but because they can’t count on him to keep his word. He will commit to legislation and the next hour deny it.
Business (the backbone of the GOP) hates Trump for the same reason. They can’t make plans when there’s chaos. The strategies that Trump has pursued are destructive, but if he were consistent, they could figure out how to live with them. But he shifts and flips so often they can’t even plan for that.
And while Moscow Mitch may not care if Trump leaks secrets to the Russians, other Republicans do actually care about national security (if only to save their own skins) and worry that he is becoming a clear and present danger to the country. Or even if they don’t care, they care that the voters are coming to that conclusion.
Republicans also know the damage Trump is doing to our infrastructure and to our image and alliances abroad. About the only thing Trump has done for him is to appoint bad judges and cut taxes. They can use Pence for that.
On top of that, these are people who have to deal with Trump every day and can see him deteriorating before their eyes. They also see the nuclear football following him around. That has to figure into their calculations as well.
The thing to watch for will be the first cracks in his usual supporters — Fox News and the evangelicals. Once the first cracks appear, I am convinced the dam will burst. And Trump, along with Barr, Giuliani, Maguire, Pompeo, etc. etc. etc. will be right in the water’s path. Which brings us to the next spectacle: which one will try to save himself from the flood by offering to drown Trump?